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August Watershed Updates

Events, West Susitna Updates, and Welcome!


Talkeetna Trail Days is Back for 2022!

On Saturday, August 20th, Join the Denali National Park and Preserve and the Susitna River Coalition in our annual clean up event in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Help clean up along the Talkeetna Riverfront and along the Chase Trail.


Who: You and your friends and family. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

What: Hands on conservation work and keeping our community beautiful!

When: Saturday, August 20th at 10AM. The work will conclude at 2PM.

Where: Meet in front of the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, 2241 S. B St

Parking: Available at the Ranger Station

Bring: Water, Snacks, Lunch, hiking boots, Rain Gear and clothing layers. Safety gear and tools will be provided by NPS.


Every volunteer will receive a thank-you gift, and each adult will receive a voucher for a shuttle bus ride in the park or a night in one of the park's campgrounds.

We can't wait to see you!


See the Susitna River Coalition Facebook event page for more information.

 

Mat-Su Business Owners Speak Out:

West Susitna Industrial Corridor

It's not just the public AIDEA is misleading and giving incomplete information to.

The Army Corp also found AIDEA's initial permit incomplete and requested a long list of answers to questions we've all been asking. (Whether or not they can provide those is still unknown).


Why does AIDEA continue to be so misleading about this project? Maybe because they also know it's another dead-end boondoggle they just won't walk away from.


Last weekend, business owners Todd Rust and Kevin Dana shared their thoughts about the project in ADN.

"As conservative small-business owners who are also hunters, fishermen and recreators in the Susitna Valley, we are not opposed to development. Our businesses depend on Alaska being the premier destination for those who want to experience the quiet wilderness of our great state. But we expect it to be done responsibly, thoughtfully and with adequate support from the public. This project has none of those."


Read the rest of the article on ADN, linked below.

 

Comment Deadline on Mat-Su Borough Code 17.05

August 15, 2022

The Mat-Su Borough Planning Commission wants to get rid of MSB code 17.05 which mandates public participation in major utility projects.


Without 17.05, residents do not have a public forum to voice their concerns about projects such as the Susitna-Watana Dam, utility lines, and other timely projects that directly affect our ecosystems, wildlife and local communities.


The Susitna River Coalition want to make sure that our voices will be heard and that what we say will continue make a difference. Currently, 17.05 is flawed - although it was created to give the public a voice, it does not guarantee that the Planning Commission will take comments into consideration before approving a utilities project. Without any standards in place, the Commission can disregard what we say. Urge them to not only keep 17.05 in the code, but to update it to require that the public is given consideration around these important issues.


How to make a comment:


Comment in Person at the Public Hearing on Monday 8/15 at 6pm

at the MSB Assembly Chambers - 350 E. Dahlia Avenue, Palmer


Send in an Email:


Comment by Phone:


Dial 1-855-290-3803; you will hear “joining conference” when you are admitted to the meeting. You will be automatically muted and able to listen to the meeting. When the Chair announces audience participation or a public hearing you would like to speak to, press *3; you will hear, “Your hand has been raised.” (There may be a delay, please be patient with the system.) When it is your turn to testify, you will hear, “Your line has been unmuted.” State your name for the record, spell your last name and provide your testimony. You will have 3 minutes to say your piece.


Sample Comment:


-I am a Mat-Su resident, and I am against Resolution 22-25. Please do not repeal MSB 17.05 for Essential Service Utilities. As a public commission, the public has the right to voice our concerns and benefits about utilities projects and the impacts they may cause.

-MSB 17.05 should not be repealed. The public has the right to be a respected part of the borough decision making process Additionally, there needs to be standards put into place to ensure our comments are given the time and consideration in the process.


-Please do not approve Resolution 22-25. I support keeping 17.05 and expect as a member of the public to be able to continue making public comments that can influence utilities to take mitigation measures. Thank you for your time this evening.

 

Care about our Recreation Rivers?

Scoping Deadline: August 15, 2022


This past month the Department of Natural Resources wrapped up its series of in-person scoping workshops in preparation of revision of the Recreation Rivers Management Plan. Scoping is an extremely important time for river users to speak up and indicate how they use the recreation rivers, what their concerns are, and if there is anything they believe should be changed.


Let DNR know that Recreational Rivers are important and that protections need to remain in place and be enforced to allow proper management of our loved and well-used wild rivers.



Comments should be sent through this online form prior to August 15, 2022.

 

Why Should We Care?

The Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan was designed as a tool for ongoing stewardship of the resources allowing targeted management in high use areas. Some of it's many purposes include:

  • Serving as a shoreline development guide to ensure that the projects are sited, designed and constructed to minimize degradation of water quality and impacts on recreation, navigation and fish and wildlife habitats.

  • Providing upland development guidelines for power-lines, pipelines, and airstrips to reduce potential safety hazards and impacts on fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, water quality and navigation.

  • Implementing wildlife guidelines to reduce bear conflicts, and enhance habitat

  • Providing Riparian guidelines to protect these areas from overuse and degradation.

The Plan’s legislatively mandated goal of maintenance and enhancement of the land and water for a variety of uses is protected using these guidelines.


Revising the Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan has the potential to decrease the level of fish habitat mitigation and necessary permitting required for development projects around these waterways resulting in deleterious effects on fish and wildlife habitat.


 

Welcome to the SRC's new Energy Coordinator!


Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the Susitna River Coalition's newest team member, June Okada.


June is joining the small SRC team as our new Energy Coordinator.


As the Energy Coordinator, June will lead the SRC by tracking energy issues in the Susitna Valley, supporting pro-renewable candidates for the Matanuska Electric Association board, protecting the Susitna River from the Susitna-Watana Hydro Project, and working in support of ecologically responsible renewable alternatives to large-scale hydro power.


"A lover of foraging for berries, mushroom hunting and backpacking in wild places, June found her way to Talkeetna with her family in 2017. She has fallen in love with Alaska, and is proud to call the Susitna Watershed her home. She enjoys rafting down the rivers in the summer with friends, and skiing on the rivers in the winter with her dog. She holds a B.A. in filmmaking, and works on documentaries. Passionate about keeping this beautiful state wild, June is excited to help transition Alaska towards a clean energy future."


Thank you, June!


Would you like to get involved with the Susitna River Coalition's energy related work? Please get in touch with June at June@susitnarivercoalition.org.

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